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Monday, December 23, 2013

Kyoryuger Episode 32 Review: Sports Clash

For this episode of Kyoryuger the team find themselves facing a foe who loves sports and with his four men helping him out can they serve the heroes?
I will have to give credit for one thing in this episode, I was surprised about the amount of variety it had. At first I completely forgot the monster was an overall sports theme and only thought of basketball. Looking at his design it may be somewhat messy, but I do enjoy the look of him. There are very obvious things on him that represent other sports. There is basketball, football, soccer, volleyball, boxing, hockey, lacrosse, and I bet even bowling. This monster was done with a creative touch and he did get a good presentation in this episode. Even though it goes to common Sentai cliche it was still fun to see how this monster do what he did. Now I will say I did hope there would be more fighting potential for this guy since all he did was let his men do most of the fighting. With that though it was another nice touch for him to treat his minions with high respect and we get another Sentai trope here with the more powerful grunts. The grunts were well trained and it was quite odd to see basketball skills be used to attack people.
I might as well continue on with the villains as Aigarion and Dolgold got some interesting screen time moments. First is that Aigarion is experiencing his rage again as he was holding up Dolgold and threatening him. Again I am hoping this will lead to something great since I really enjoyed him getting all angry. What was funny is that for some reason Dolgold was being the nice guy and was even calm. It felt like the two switched personalities at a moment and it is easily hinting at something. It didn't last long though so all it was a scene that's just hinting to a possible plot twist in the future. Overall then the villain's plan was weak, it was just a distraction method so that they can get a stone, at least they got some sadness to use.
I can easily say one thing in this episode that it was very predictable. The monster dealt with sports so he tried to show off how noble he was, but in the end he was just a filthy liar like many other monsters. In a way he reminds me of the three idiots from Dairanger and he does have some of that charm to him, but this time there is no redemption for him in the end. The reason why the three idiots worked out is that they were treated like trash and even though they were part of the Gorma there was Souji who wanted to believe in what they say. Here all the monster did was make the team realize that they can apply new tactics to their fights. What would easily have helped this episode was to have more charm and for an episode that people are saying to be over the top, it seemed rather controlled to me. It wasn't that bizarre to see sports in a Sentai. They have been shown in Toku shows many times before like in Dairanger with the three idiots.
I feel like watching Dairanger again...
So as I said before about how the team learn that they can apply new ideas into how they battle, it works nicely. Yet it is quickly forgotten, it's shown in the training and that was it. It would have been great to see the team try their original line up first and then take a time out and then change things up. It would easily add more dynamics to the teamwork then. In the end the villain tricks the team and goes for soccer so that training was pretty pointless then, but not a bad idea from the villain. I was thinking he would just go for dirty tactics like some extreme rough housing or traps like the three idiots did (last time I will say this). I did like that the team ended up screwing over soccer as they just used their basketball skills which was a bit funny. Overall I think there easily could have been some changes to how they shown their teamwork in this episode since it didn't have a strong dynamic for me.
A good addition to have in this episode was having a little bit of Yayoi in as it's nice to show the other heroes. Sadly though, Yayoi didn't do anything that big, I was thinking a fight with Dolgold would happen, but Torin was takes that and we cut away from that anyways.... She did get some fighting moments, but it gets over-shined by the other Kyoryugers. Also this episode feels like it should have been in the very early episodes since it highly focuses on the main five members. Ucchi mostly steps out of this episode as he at least plays as the coach of the team. Then Yayoi didn't have an overall focus to the actual episode so it just seemed like this episode would have done better with it's idea of teamwork in the beginning episodes. Then it would have worked greatly to show that the team can think of ideas like this while beginning as a team and showing their potential for thinking out and inside of a battle. 
I want to get back to the over the top element in this episode as I feel that it was quite weak. The beginning of the episode shown some good potential since the grunts were simply playing a ball game to defeat the team. The team did a great counter was by making clones of themselves and causing major confusion of the villains and the audience. Yet we have serious moments with the main villains and everything else is just an average feeling. Even the sports match wasn't that crazy since it would have been better to see the team and villains actually have a basketball game. The only cheap thing would have been little tricks from the villains. What really made it more controlled is that the villains just went to attack the heroes when they were using basketball skills with soccer. It just felt like a normal fight basically, but with sports. What probably would have helped if the team was transformed and still had their sports uniforms on. Then just have a basketball match with that and add special effects when the team use specific batteries or attacks on the ball. It easily could have gone way more crazy as I know many past Sentai really stepped that up.
I will say the mecha fight was better than the usual ones this series delivers, but that still isn't saying much. Again it wasn't that crazy even with the grunts dressed up as baseball players. What makes it feel not insane enough is that the heroes just treat it normally. Have them play their little games that will make things actually insane. Nossan did this when he decided to bring a bat to the mat. The monster then used an attack which was pretty much throwing every piece of sports equipment there was. Nossan and Amy then used the bat to swing it all back at the monster, now that's a good example of how over the top this episode could have been. Now it was nice to see a good amount of mechs show up in this episode, like Pteraiden-oh with Western, Kyoryujin, and Plezu-oh. Sadly the only moment I loved was with Nossan and Amy piloting Kyoryujin. Pteraiden-oh just blasted back the baseballs at the villains and Plezu-oh with Ankydon was smashed foes with a hammer. Here is how I would have done this, have Plezu-oh fight the grunts and use the hammer as a bat and have Ptrearaiden-oh shoot at the batter foes as they try to swing at the bullets. Finally, the finish to this fight was just the Bakuretsu Kyoryujin finisher. Again things just felt too controlled.
There was something new in this episode and it's a new battery that goes with Carnival mode, oh joy... Now I was pretty much yelling at the team when they tried to use it when Red wasn't even in Carnival mode since Yayoi just told them it works with that form in general. It's pretty amazing to think that the episode could have ended if Daigo was just smart enough to use Carnival mode with the new battery. I bet what would happen though is that he wouldn't have control of the new attack which leads to the team helping him use the attack. All it is is a cannon finisher, but it's not with an actual big cannon, it just goes with the mini-rex gun. I will say I am happy that this new attack requires the others since Carnival doesn't steal the spotlight this way. Still this new battery doesn't bring that much to the table as I would easily use other batteries.
Overall this episode was mess, but a controlled mess. It would have been a little better if the team aspect was worked with, the whole other parts of the episode carry the over the top elements, and actually be over the top more than like three times. Nothing was really that funny to me and the presentation was only good for the monster and even he felt like he was just sitting in the corner until the mech fight. I know over the top and have seen it done many times before and much better than this episode. I would even say episode thirty and thirty-one was more over the top since those two episodes played around with some jokes. This isn't a complete failure of an episode, I am mostly just highly disappointed since I thought this would be a good episode, but I guess I would just give it a D+ and move on.
Next Time: Ucchi isn't happy that he was ignored!

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